Using a Scosche Rhythm+ with Walkmeter on iOS

As a bit of a follow-up on my previous article about using the Scosche Rhythm+ with iOS I wanted to do a quick write-up about using the Rhythm+ with my GPS/workout app of choice: Walkmeter by Abvio.

Walkmeter directly supports a list of devices that unfortunately doesn’t include the Rhythm+. This wasn’t an issue for me before because I was using the Rhythm+ via the Apple Watch (which is supported directly in Walkmeter). Now, since I’m not using the Apple Watch, I thought I was out of luck but there is a way to get it to work (and this method might work for other devices as well since it uses Apple Health as an intermediary). It turns out that you can use the Scosche Rhythm Connect app to connect to the Rhythm+ which starts saving data to Apple Health. Walkmeter will then read that data and populate it’s heart rate displays.

Here is how you get it to work…

Scosche Rhythm Connect

  1. Launch the Scosche Rhythm Connect app on your phone.
  2. We need to make sure that the Rhythm Connect app is connected to Apple Health so that data coming off of the Rhythm+ is saved to Health.
    1. Tap on the “hamburger menu” in the upper left corner of the screen (highlighted in orange below).
    2. Tap on “Configure Sharing”.
    3. Connect to Apple Health if it’s not already connected. When you connect it will pop up a permissions screen asking what data to share to/from Rhythm Connect. In the screenshot below I’ve already connected to Apple Health.
  3. Now go back to the main screen by tapping the hamburger menu and then tapping “Home”.
  4. Now power on your Rhythm+ and it should show on upon the screen like this:
  5. Tap on your device in the list and you should then see this (it might take a second or two for the heart rate to show up):

Now we need to head over to Walkmeter to finish the setup…

Walkmeter

  1. Launch Walkmeter then head over to Settings by first tapping “More” in the bottom menu then tap “Devices”.
  2. On the Devices screen make sure that “iOS Paired Heart Rate Monitor” is enabled.

Now you’re ready to go. If you tap on “Stopwatch” in the bottom menu your heart rate should show up on the main Walkmeter screen (again it might take a bit because the app is reading data from iOS Health and not from the device directly).

This is a bit more cumbersome than having direct support in the application but it works. Walkmeter is a tinkerer’s dream, it’s ridiculous how much data it shows and how configurable it is. I have not found anything like it on the App Store.

Using a Scosche Rhythm+ with iOS

This post is about the older model of the Scosche armband HR monitor but this very well might apply to the newer Rhythm 24 monitor that took its place.

Up until recently I’ve been using the Scosche as a replacement for my Apple Watch (Series 3) HR monitor during workouts. It has better accuracy and updates at a much faster rate (once per second) than the Apple Watch. I’ve always paired it directly to the watch and have only used it with the Apple Watch workouts. But lately I have not been wanting to wear the Apple Watch and have been experimenting with other applications on my iPhone to see how that all works together.

The one piece of advice I have is to ignore what is written in the manual and don’t pair the Rhythm+ with the iPhone via Settings->Bluetooth. That step is completely unnecessary and seems to cause problems when trying to get the Rhythm to work with other applications. I experimented with multiple applications (Scosche’s own Rhythm Sync, Polar Beat, and FITIV Pulse) since each has their own pairing setup.

If I paired the Rhythm+ with the iPhone first, the pairing in each of the apps generally would not work properly. Sometimes it would pair, sometimes not. If I forgot the Rhythm+ in the iOS Bluetooth settings then paired the device individually with each app it worked flawlessly when I switched between applications. I’m not sure why Scosche specifically calls out pairing with the iPhone first in their directions but it certainly isn’t necessary and causes problems using the device.

Etsy buys Reverb.com

These day’s I’m pretty much never a fan of purchases involving companies I like (Reverb.com). Reverb has been a fantastic marketplace for people to sell used music equipment with fair fees. When a “giant” like Etsy comes along and buys them my first inclination is to think that it’s over for Reverb. I’m trying to be a bit more open-minded but I have yet to see an example where the culture of the buyer doesn’t kill the culture of the company bought. I hope I’m wrong here.

On seeing Big Boy #4014

Everyone was gathered around the rail crossing waiting. People of all ages were parked in chairs or just standing around. The weather was still, the heat of the day being held back by the thin blanket of clouds. Everyone was anxiously waiting to see what would happen. The train was stopped further up the tracks, it’s journey temporarily halted. 

Then we heard them, the local news helicopters, the beat of the blades against the thick summer air unmistakable. This was a bit of history after all and they had to capture the moment for those who wouldn’t be able to see it in person. Hovering like dragonflies they also waited.

We could see it before we heard it, the smoke billowing from the smokestack, the headlight very bright even during the middle of the day, far down the tracks. A roar went up from the crowd as everyone saw it coming, the thing we had all gathered to see.

Then it was upon us, steam whistle blowing, belching smoke and steam as it thundered past us. The roar of the whistle was deafening and the million pounds of metal being driven forward by fire, pistons, and steam made the ground shake. We could feel it deep down in our bones, such a visceral experience, and one I hadn’t expected.

But as quickly as it had come it was gone. Everyone started leaving the spot where we had all experienced this little bit of history together, happy from the sight, sounds, and feel of it all. There was definitely an excitement in the air even bigger than what had been there before the train arrived. We had all been witness to the passing of this great machine and we all knew we were privileged to have been able to see it.

Big Boy #4014 was on it’s way to a weekend stop in West Chicago. It was built in 1941, one of 25 of the largest steam locomotives ever built. It was retired from service in 1961. Union Pacific purchased it from a railroad preservation group and set to work restoring it two years ago. Today’s journey was a part of the culmination of that work and I feel very lucky to have been able to see it.